Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik gestures as he arrives for his terrorism and murder trial in a courtroom in Oslo April 16, 2012.
Norweigan mass murderer Anders Behrig Breivik, 36, has been admitted to the University of Oslo’s political science program, although he will stay in his cell to study, the university’s rector said Friday.
Breivik’s application was rejected two years ago, when his qualifications were deemed insufficient. At the time, the submission stirred a debate in Norway over whether someone convicted of such a horrific crime should even be considered for higher education. He then posed as a police officer at a summer camp for members of the left-wing Workers’ Youth League (AUF) party on the island of Utoya, and fatally shot 69 participants.
“He meets the admission requirements. He meets the criteria”, university spokeswoman Marina Tofting told AFP.
But Norway’s prison system is based on rehabilitation, and thus focuses on preparing inmates for the outside world upon their release – including education.
University of Oslo rector Ole Petter Ottersen wrote on the institution’s website about the “moral dilemma” they had faced in approving Breivik’s enrolment.
However, Breivik must remain in his cell and would not be able to go to university campus or have any contact with other students or staff. Likewise, he cannot attend compulsory seminars or get personal guidance from staff, VG said.
All communication with the university will take place via “a contact person in prison”, Mr Otterson said.
Prior to the violent attacks, Breivik attended high schools in Norway and enrolled on an online business management course, however he failed to complete secondary education.
Behring Breivik killed 77 people as an act against Muslims and multi-culturalism, and preceded his attack with a 1,500-page manifesto.
Breivik also claimed to be part of a secretive, non-existent network of Knights Templar.
Lisbeth Kristine Røyneland, who lost her 18-year-old daughter Synne in the Utøya massacre, said: “For us it is irrelevant if he sits in his cell and reads fiction or whether he is studying a book of political science”.
Breivik’s lawyer was not immediately available for comment on the development.